Cell Biology of Virus Infection
obligate intracellular parasites viruses intimately rely on host cell factors
for all stages of their replication. Our
group is interested in deciphering the complex interactions that occur between poxviruses
and their host cells during all stages of the infection cycle. We investigate how
viruses initiate their internalization by endocytosis, and how they utilize transport
within cellular endocytic systems to their advantage. We are also analyzing how the viral genome and
accessory proteins escape into the cytosol, and how replication proceeds.
these we combine cellular, molecular, and virological techniques with state-of-the-art
technologies such as automated small compound and image-based siRNA screening, advanced
proteomics, live cell microscopy, and electron microscopy. Our particular
interests lie in uncovering novel mechanisms by which viruses subjugate host
cell functions to facilitate their entry, replication, and spread.
Systematic analysis of the poxvirus lifecycle. Representative images of each of the stages of the
virus lifecycle for which we have developed specific, quantitative, high- or medium-
Cell Reports on the cover: Vaccinia virus, the prototypic poxvirus, is complex in structure. Virions consist of a lipid bilayer surrounding a genome-containing core, which is flanked by two proteinaceous lateral bodies, the composition and function of which has remained enigmatic for over 40 years. In this issue, Mercer and colleagues show that poxvirus lateral bodies, akin to herpesvirus tegument, serve as delivery containers for viral immunomodulatory proteins. The cover image shows a collection of immunoelectron micrographs of vaccinia virions labeled for the viral protein F17, identified as a major lateral body component. Images by C.K.E. Bleck.